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Bharti Kher

Artist 14 Bharti Kher Bindi contemporary art

Bharti Kher is an Indian contemporary artist. Her work encompasses painting, sculpture and installation, often incorporating bindis and the popular forehead decoration worn by women in India.

Kher has used manufactured versions of traditional Indian bindi to adorn cast sculptures – often of animals – and wall-hung panels.These life size sculptures are created from fiberglass and then adorned with bindis.

Bharti Kher references magical beasts, mythical monsters and allegorical tales in in her work. The blue sperm whale heart is created in fibreglass, the artist has decorated the enormous heart and protruding veins and arteries with different coloured bindis.

The term bindi is derived from bindu, the sanskrit word for a dot or a point. The bindi in india is traditionally a mark of pigment applied to the forehead and is associated with the hindu symbol of the third eye. when worn by women in the customary color of red, it is a symbol of marriage.

In contemporary times it has become a decorative item, worn by unmarried girls and women of other religions as well.

Today’s bindis are commercially manufactured and have been transformed into stick-on vinyl, disposable objects and a secular, feminine fashion accessory.

Kher uses the bindi as a central motif in her work, transforming the surfaces of both sculptures and paintings to connect disparate ideas.

This tiny decoration is used as a means of transforming objects and surfaces. She is known for her menagerie of resin-cast animals, which are covered with the bindi, and she also uses the bindi to make large, wall-based panels.

She explores an interest in kitsch and popular consumer culture of the bindi.

Kher’s creative use of the mass produced commercial bindi and how she transforms it does

evoke many questions. Both about what purpose the bindi holds for Kher and how the traditional thought of it as the third eye influences the sculptures.

I love the notion of these deeply spiritual creatures covered in mystic eyes. It draws a new power into nature and reflects a deeper world than commercialism.

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